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WiFi or Data and how about security?

Hina Pandya photo
Hina PandyaLondon, UK
WiFi or Data and how about security?
There is confusion about getting your internet through WiFi or Data, what's the difference, and moreover, what about security.

A couple of days ago, I was out having a dinner with a friend, standing in an open spot looking for a place to go for a quick drink afterwards.

While she FaceTimed, I was approached by a mature woman who asked me how to connect to WiFi and 'was it safe?' I helped her.
After that, my vocal friend well meaning, (who has no professional skills in tech, or works in the mobile phone industry but highly skilled in other areas) protested that Data and WiFi were the same thing, plus she didn't care if they were different as long as they got her onto the internet, and we got into a 'conversation' between the new lady and her friend.

I tried several times to explain, but to no avail, hence the need for this article.

WiFi, simply put is internet connection through a routing system within a range- much like you sign into 'The Cloud' or a coffee shop or restaurant carrier

Data signal is more direct, using your 'phone line' if you like, and directly connected consistently as long as your phone has range this can be anywhere.

So both connect you to the internet, so should you care which to use?

How you connect can make a difference in the speed of your connection, the cost of your monthly mobile phone bill and the security of your information.

Whilst your home WiFi or business account will offer limitless amounts, your Data plan may not be so generous.

WiFi is usually faster than data too given a good stable connection, and of course WiFi is free to connect to when your on the road and don't want to pay mobile phone charges.

The danger is that most of public WiFi is unsecured connection. It could be hackable, and with a few programmes picked up off the internet people can intercept your communications. Something to consider when using internet banking on your phone, (or sending that seedy email to your latest love interest).
So in general use WiFi when:
- The WiFi connection is secure, and the WiFi connection is strong.

-You need a faster connection.

-When you're streaming videos- this takes up a lot of your Data megabytes, no matter how much you think you have.

-When you travel internationally, or have a limited data plan- you can save lots of money.

Use Data when:

-The WiFi network is public or not secure

-The WiFi is slow or weak

-You've plenty of data and you're not worried about excess charges.

Having said this be aware if you haven't gone into your settings and switched them off your phone may well be dipping into your data plan updating apps and the like, so you might unwittingly get big charges.

Security on the other hand is questionable. With the IP Bill making it through Parliament in the UK, the government have powers to look at what you're doing and you may not ever be told about it.

Before you say you've nothing to hide, because I hear this too, far too much. Remember the right to privacy is a human right, your  rights to the freedom to think, speak and share what you do should not be taken lightly. It is the pinnacle of a free and fair society.

Think about the things you wont dare Google because someone may be watching, recording your every move, think about the photos of your kids and where they might end up, think about the private conversations you've had with your best friend being vulnerable to only them.
Then see that twisted and used against you. Or being seen by hundreds in that private picture and the office joke at GCHQ. This happens, we know it does, Snowden told us as much.

There are far too many examples of using this spying against ordinary citizens, not to mention journalists and lawyers. Two professions of privilege, where privacy is not just important, it's paramount to get to the truth. I'm sure my friend would agree with me.

Big brother watching you is a real thing in today's world, and in a democratic country we should be safe guarding our privacy. One persons privacy, no matter their Facebook photo, or their Bank details is too many.

(For Amy and anyone else confused)

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#WiFi, #Data, #security, #democratic, #GCHQ

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